Friday, May 25, 2018

How Time Flies By

 Spring is just taking my breathe away.
Each year I am more amazed by it's beauty.
After the dark days of winter I rejoice in the color,
in the festivity of it all.
 Above is the elderflowers in my garden right now.
This weekend I hope to do something delicious with it.
 The mountain laurel returns so consistently beautiful each year.
 Allium so briefly is here and then it is gone.
For some reason my "live-in gardener" tucked it in
the garden where I sometimes miss it.
I must go looking and there it is in all it's glory.
 And finally roses!
Wow!
They are enchanting me right now.
The garden is full of their blooms
and I am in love with them.
Though with the new life of Springtime
I see how fleeting it is.
Life speeds along so quickly.
I want to hold the beauty of Springtime in my arms,
embrace it, and tell it to stay awhile.

Step out this weekend and savor every moment of Springtime,
dear friends!!!
Create memories of the beauty in your mind for those dark
nights of winter.
Happy weekend, dear friends!

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Tea Time in the Gardenhouse

 Tea time in the Gardenhouse just yesterday.
Ready, Set, Go
My live-in gardener even pitched in to help.
 The food was ready.
Calla lily sandwich
Smoked salmon with cream on an endive leaf
Egg salad sandwich
Coronation chicken on croissant
Cucumber sandwich
 and
Cream Scones with marmalade

 Several tea friends always miss out on tea festivities
because they work on the weekend;
so a party was planned in the middle of the week.
What fun we had talking tea and nibbling.
 There were cupcakes
Lemon tarts with a raspberry
Chocolate dipped strawberries
Lemon shortcake cookies
And there was tea.
We started with Castleton Moonlight Imperial Darjeeling, 2018 first flush.
Then moved to an old growth Darjeeling that is not available to the public.
And we topped it off with Black Magnolia from The Mississippi Tea Company, also rather dear and difficult to acquire.

What fun to serve connoisseurs of tea to a special afternoon tea.
We may sip tea together, but this was a first for us
to enjoy afternoon tea with all the food.

Find time to savor friendship even in the middle of the week.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

A bit of tea, here and there

 This morning as I sat on my back steps savoring nature in the early
morning with a cup of tea in hand I was reminiscing about a
 past trip to visit Taiwan tea farms.
In my cup was the end of the tea I had brought home,
a 27 year old Buddha Hand Oolong.
Then my mind turned to the past week with tea.
 There was a tea party at a retirement center near Portland
where I was the guest speaker.
Not my usual thing to do and I had never talked to
a group in a retirement center.
 Not sure I did very well, but I told myself if nothing
else "it was good for me". 
It looks like I was singing here, but nope I was just talking
about tea and the history of tea in England.
 
 And then as I shared yesterday another picture from tea by the river.
This past weekend was time by this river and a few moments of
solitude with a cup of tea.
Probably my favorite time with tea.
 Then yesterday a small group of women friends met out in nature
for a potluck, friendship, and a sip of tea.
The view and the day were spectacular.

 The flowers were blooming and though you can't see it, as the clouds
parted we saw three volcanic mountains in the distance.
If I count sipping tea on my back steps there were
four very different experiences with tea.
Each one touched my soul and delighted my heart.
Eventhough I love sipping many different teas and
in many different cups, 
It is the experience of the tea that most enchants and delights me.

Linking to Bernideen at http://blog.bernideens.com/

Monday, May 21, 2018

Monday's Tea Quote


The sun, Lord of the East, grinds the fragrant dust of tea.
Bejeweled nectar on the teeth, revives me.
A pure wind envelopes my body.
The whole world seen in a single cup.
~Kohan, translated by V. Dixon Morris

Yes, this was a single cup of tea while sitting in
reflection along the river just yesterday.
The sun warm on my skin.
The silence and time alone quite beautiful. 
Have a good week, dear friends!

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Rest and Be Thankful


 Morning shots in my garden.
Did you rise early this morning to watch the Royal Wedding?
Were there scones and tea?
Now time to rest, dear ones!

"Rest and be Thankful"
~William Wordsworth

Have a restful weekend.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Black Magnolia Tea

 Strolling down a country trail on a sultry day in late spring.
Smelling the grass as it bakes in the sun.
 The tea in my cup reminds me of a smooth summer day.
A day to languish by the river,
letting it flow gently down my throat.
 By no means is it bitter.

A light flavor until it hits the back of the throat
and then it sits there, light caramel/fruity, not sweet but romantic.
 Do you ever have this romance with a cup of tea?
Does it tingle in your thoughts like a sultry day in late spring?
 Do you just want to savor the day?
Well Black Magnolia Oolong Tea from The Great Mississippi Tea Co.
is such a tea. I have waited a long time to be able to savor this tea
and savoring it I am doing.
On the package from The Cultured Cup in Dallas, Texas,
it says "This hand-plucked tea is complex with notes of apricot,
honeysuckle & honey." "The best USA grown tea!"
I would agree!
How exciting to finally get my hands and then my taste buds
on this special cup of tea.
Good job to the growers at The Great Mississippi Tea Company.

Linking to Bernideen: http://blog.bernideens.com/

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Better than Strawberries

 A fun photo shoot with strawberries.
Aren't strawberries just gorgeous?
Oh and they can taste sweet and juicy too.
 They remind me of a warm summer day
with the juice running down my arms as I pick them in the field.
That is something I did each year when my children were young.
How I love them on my yogurt with my morning tea.
They are delicious when plain,
but adding a bit of chocolate to dip into,
oh swoon!
Have you noticed that when you slice them you get a bowl of hearts?
When my birthday comes in March I know strawberries
will be showing up in the market from California.
They do delight my soul, but even more is when on Mother's Day
 my grandson told me he liked me better than strawberries.
Now that is saying something because he and I both 
absolutely LOVE strawberries.
 So this is my ode to strawberries
for I love their taste, delight in their red color,
and am enchanted by their beauty.
Sending love to D for I love him more than strawberries too!

Monday, May 14, 2018

Monday's Tea Quote

No riches I covet, no fame do I want
Ambition means nothing to me
But I beg of kind heaven one favor to grant
For breakfast, a good pot of tea.
~Lu Yu
Lu Yu was the father of tea technology in the 9th century

Sipping my breakfast tea this morning wrapped in a cozy
from marmaladys.com
This cozy will soon be on my website.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Feet Up

For all the women,
may you have a blessed Mother's Day with feet up,
surrounded by those you love,
and JOY in a cup to cheer the day!

The Song of a Lovely Day

Of kitchen curtains blowing; of a bubbling kettle;
Of a yellow cat on a oaken settle;
Of the webs I'm brushing from a corner in the hall;
Of crimson roses climbing up a garden wall;
Of a beater whipping egg-whites to a froth;
Of a table set for tea with a linen cloth;
Of children's lilting laughter; of a broom's soft swish;
Of the first ripe strawberries in a crystal dish;
Of a morning's ironing and its crisp array-
Oh, of all the details of a lovely day,
I will make a song, dear, then when I am through
Will keep it for the singing, come evening, to you.
by Ethel Romig Fuller, Kitchen Sonnets

May it be an extra special day!
Joey soaking up the sun.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Spring Indulgence - Darjeeling Tea


 In more than one way the tea camel arrived at my home the past week.
It is my spring treat to myself to order tea from Darjeeling, India.
https://www.thunderbolttea.com/ teas have never disappointed;
so this week has been a delight of tasting some very special teas.
Yesterday the sun was out and I took my tea to the garden.
Added in with the treat were chocolates from Alma's Chocolate Company
here in Portland. That bunny chocolate actually had a flavored
So it was a gourmet delight tea time in the garden just for me.
In the cup was Arya FTGFOP1 Clonal, Autumn Flush, 2017.
Oh yes, definitely a good autumn black tea.
I ordered five different teas from Thunderbolt
and each one tastes fresh, they taste of the hillsides of Darjeeling, India.
I could pick them out just by their fragrance and taste;
but the one I had been anticipating was Castleton Moonlight Imperial,
First Flush of 2018.
For those that don't know "flush" means when it was picked;
so first flush is the first picking in the spring.
Castleton Moonlight is like drinking springtime and 
moonlight  in my cup. Oh, the fragrance of springtime!
It delights my soul, clear down to my toes.

The cup was a recent find at Goodwill,
called Indies by Johnson Bros.
Perfect for a cup of tea from India.
The teapot, a gift from a friend.
The quilt, a special treasure from my step-grandmother.

Linking to Bernideen: http://blog.bernideens.com/

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

A Garden Show and a Five Year Old

 The first weekend in May is a ritual for my "live-in gardener" and I
to attend the plant sale at Canby Fairgrounds.
This year we invited our D to come along and explore.
 In a way we were surprised when he said "yes".
He was fascinated!
Oh the wagon brigade was out in full attendance.
Whew! dodging those wagons and keeping up with a 5 year old
was a different experience for us.
 It ended up not being about finding plants for our garden,
but just experiencing it through the eyes of one 5 year old.
 A much difference experience and lots of fun,
but about 2/3 of the way through he was ready to go.
Yes, it can be a bit overwhelming for sure.
 We explored in different ways.
What fun!
 In the end D went home with one fly catcher, which totally intrigued him
and two pots of strawberry plants.
He insisted on carrying that fly catcher through the whole show.
He loves strawberries and when we bought one the grower gave him the second.
 Another grower gave him a frisbee, so he was a happy boy.
Seeing through the eyes of a 5 year old is
very different than through our much older eyes.
Whew! we were ready for feet up after that;
but oh so fun!!!!

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

The Lilac Lady

"Hulda Klager was two years old when her parents brought her to
America from Germany in 1865. The family moved to Woodland, WA.
and purchased a farm in 1877 when she was thirteen.  Her home,
built in 1889, is located on four acres of the original farm.

Even though Hulda was busy with the demands of home, marriage, and
family she was able to make time for her flowers.

While she was recovering from an illness in 1903, she received a book
about Luther Burbank.  His work to improve plants through propagation
caught Hulda's attention. Her own first tests began with an apple tree
at the farm. Hulda's work with lilacs began in 1905. By 1910 she had
14 new varieties to show for her efforts.

In 10 years she had enough varieties to host her first open house during
the spring bloom. She continued this event until her death in 1960.
As her reputation grew, Hulda became known as the Lilac Lady."
The sitting room above is where she greeted guests and served tea.

Tea served in her bedroom.

In the closet there were several dresses and quilts on display.
There were quilts displayed throughout the home.

It was beautiful day to walk in Hulda's garden.
I could definitely sit and dream here in that distant chair.
www.lilacgardens.com for more information

It was a perfect day to smell the flowers.